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Tohoku Discovered

16 days from £6,265pp

What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

Itinerary highlights

  • Hot spring bathing in rural inns.

  • Climbing the beautiful peaks of Dewa Sanzan.

  • Driving through spectacular mountainous scenery.

  • Watching a local summer festival.

  • Looking out over Matsushima Bay for sunrise.

Price includes

Scheduled international flights
Fully insured vehicle hire
/svg> All accommodation
  • Tokyo
  • Nikko
  • Sendai
  • Matsushima
  • Towada-ko
  • Nyuto Onsen
  • Kakunodate
  • Dewa-sanzan
  • Tokyo

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 Tokyo


After passing through customs and luggage collection, you're met by an airport guide who will give you your trip documents and direct you to the shared shuttle service which takes you to your hotel. After checking in, spend the rest of the day at leisure, resting and relaxing after your flight. If you do feel like starting exploring, you may wish to walk around the Imperial Gardens.

Day 3 Tokyo


Your guide will meet you today in the hotel lobby to run through your trip and offer any local advice to you so you can enjoy the country with confidence. In the first section the guide will explain your itinerary in more detail and answer any questions you might have. This can take up to two hours so afterwards head out with your guide to see some of the highlights of the city. Perhaps start with taking a cruise up from the Hamarikyu gardens up to the old district of Asakusa to see the beautiful Sensoji temple.

Day 4 Nikko

Tokyo , Nikko

Leave Tokyo by high-speed bullet train this morning and head north to the intricate shrines and lakeside scenery of the old city of Nikko in the mountains just north of Tokyo.

Day 5 Nikko


Explore the temples, Lake Chuzenji or go walking in the hills around the town.

Day 6 Matsushima

Nikko , Sendai , Matsushima

Continue by bullet train today to Sendai then local train to Matsushima, one of Japan's top three most scenic spots. Take a boat trip out to the bay this afternoon.


Day 7 Towada-ko

Matsushima , Towada-ko

Take the train north to Hachinohe, where you pick up your hire car for the journey to Lake Towada. This is a very scenic drive, taking you through the Oirase Gorge.


Day 8 Towada-ko


Explore the lake area on foot or by hire car. There are lots of hot springs to enjoy if you feel like enjoying the scenery and relaxing.


Day 9 Nyuto Onsen

Towada-ko , Nyuto Onsen

Drive south to Nyuto Onsen, one of the best known hot springs in northern Japan. Spend the evening relaxing in one of the outdoor baths, some of which are mixed sex - this is rural Japan so modesty goes out of the window here!

Day 10 Kakunodate

Nyuto Onsen , Kakunodate

After a leisurely morning continue your drive through the scenic backbone of Japan to Kakunodate, a town known for its samurai history. Some samurai houses have been restored to their feudal era glory and you even spend the night in a converted samurai residence.


Day 11 Kakunodate


Explore the town at your leisure today. You may like to drive out to Lake Tazawa too, which although a little touristy, has some lovely views and you can stroll along the sandy shore to take them in.


Day 12 Dewa-sanzan

Kakunodate , Dewa-sanzan

Leave Kakunodate early this morning for the relatively long but atmospheric drive to the secluded, holy mountain trio known collectively as Dewa Sanzan. You overnight in basic but charming temple lodgings.


Day 13 Dewa-sanzan


This morning climb the stone steps to the summit of the smallest peak, Mt Haguro. Walk or take the bus back to Haguro for the evening.


Day 14 Dewa-sanzan


Drive to the midway point of Mt Gassan and then climb to the top to visit the shrine and take in the views, an ascent of around two hours. Treat your aching limbs to a dip in the temple's communal bath this evening.


Day 15 Tokyo

Dewa-sanzan , Tokyo

Drop off your car in Tsuruoka and then take local and bullet line trains to Tokyo.

Day 16 International return flight

Tokyo , International return flight

Return to the airport by shuttle bus and fly back home. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Audley Travel specialist Alice
Audley Travel specialist Rebecca

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Japan will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Nyuto Onsen